My Year in Review (Film Edition)

Despicable Me

Critics and commentators are posting their end of the year “best of” and “worst of” lists in various fields, so I’ll be joining the fray today.  I have more to say about movies than anything else (big surprise), so I’ll deal with everything else in a separate post.

Biggest Pleasant Surprise: Despicable Me I went expecting that my kids would be entertained, and I would enjoy the popcorn.  But this turned out to be a genuinely funny, charming story.  And we are all still saying “What????” just like the minions.

Biggest Letdown:   Dinner for Schmucks I went into this one with modest expectations, too, and they turned out to be far too high.  I saw “Dinner for Schmucks” with a friend, and I felt guilty for inviting her.

Best Laugh:   The Other Guys I saw this not long after “Dinner for Schmucks” and laughed more in the first 10 minutes of “The Other Guys” than I did in all of “Dinner for Schmucks”.

Best Cry:   Toy Story 3 I cried during the movie.  I cried after the movie.  I cried the next day when I thought about the movie.  And I cried the entire time I wrote this blog post about the movie.

Best Scare:   TIE –   The House of the Devil Saw this at Cornerstone and even in a crowded tent the suspense almost killed me.  There was also a moment when the entire crowd reacted in shock at the same moment.  I love poster courtesy

The Crazies I thought this was a good horror movie all the way around, but it ties for “best scare” for one reason:  the car wash.

Best Worst Movie:   Troll 2 Yes, I finally saw it, and it was just as bad as advertised.

Best Documentary:   Best Worst Movie The documentary about “Troll 2”, which we saw at Cornerstone, turned out to be as hysterical as expected, but also thought-provoking and touching.

Riki-Oh, He's so fine

Best Shared Movie-Watching ExperienceRiki-Oh:  The Story of Ricky Saw this one at Cornerstone, too, and the experience of watching perhaps the most bizarre martial arts movie ever made with that particular group of people was priceless.

Best Date Movie for Married Couples:   Date Night Not a masterpiece, but Steve Carrell and Tina Fey were consistently funny and the movie leaves you feeling good about being married.  Also, between his roles in this movie and “The Other Guys”, Mark Wahlberg earned my respect this year.  He’s a solid comic actor.

Best Movie That Never Came to Our TheaterIn the Loop It came out in 2009, but never hit the Showplace 12.  I finallyin the loop poster courtesy saw it on Netflix this past spring and enjoyed it immensely.  The inside view of political machinations is almost as dark and absurd as “Dr. Strangelove”.  And yet it all seems so plausible….

Movies That Were as Good as Their Buzz: The Kids Are Alright The performances were amazingly good and the speech that Julianne Moore’s character gives about marriage is as true as anything in film this year.

The Social Network By the time we saw  it I’d heard the arguments about the film’s historical inaccuracies.   Consequently, I didn’t go in thinking I’d see what really happened or what Mark Zuckerberg is really like.  As a piece of fiction, I thought it was a great movie and I stand by the comparisons that I made on Facebook  between “The Social Network” and “Citizen Kane” and “Othello”.  I’m not talking about film technique, people.  I’m talking about character arcs.

Best Overall, Numero Uno, Favorite Movie of the Year: Toy Story 3 How can you top a sequel which lives up to parts one and two, is faithful to the characters we’ve grown to love, is enchanting from beginning to end – for both children and adults, and grapples with the heaviest questions that weigh on the human heart.  It’s going to be a classic.

A Partial List of 2010 Releases I’m Still Hoping to See

1) The Secret of Kells

2) Winter’s Bone

3) Greenberg

4) Get Low

5) Never Let Me Go

6) Megamind

7) Mother and Child

8 ) True Grit

9) Catfish

10) The Fighter



Filed under movies

2 responses to “My Year in Review (Film Edition)

  1. Debbie

    So what of “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”?

    • Saw it on Christmas Eve with the family. It was my least favorite of the three TCoN movies, even though the book is in my top three of the series. I felt like it just skimmed over the surface of the story – no depth. Consider the scene in which Aslan turns Eustace back into a boy. It is the dramatic center of the book, and it’s blown by so quickly in the movie. It just didn’t work for me, though I thought Will Poulter (Eustace) was properly annoying.

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